Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Stephen J. Choi

First Page



Arbitration procedures today have become highly standardized. Institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the American Arbitration Association Center for International Dispute Resolution (AAA) each have detailed provisions for administering arbitration proceedings (often involving parties of different nationalities). Parties entering into arbitration can expect to have limited discovery, a hearing, and the ability to bring attorneys to the proceedings. While typically providing less process than formal court proceedings, the standardized nature of arbitration can lead parties to view arbitration much like court proceedings--a fixed, pre-determined process to settle disputes. Thomas Carbonneau's article, "The Exercise of Contract Freedom in the Making of Arbitration Agreements," reminds us of the contractual roots of arbitration. While arbitration has become standardized, parties retain the ability to vary aspects of arbitration. Carbonneau points out various ways in which parties may modify arbitration terms and makes the normative claim that sophisticated parties should affirmatively consider doing so.